2.11.2009

Three Things I Hate to See



Living in the woods is great, but sometimes you have to pay dues. We've had a tough winter, with deep snow and ice cover for more than two months. And not much to eat for the deer, especially since there were almost no acorns in fall. I've defended my garden with a vast deer fence to keep the critters out, but the trouble is, in winters like this one, starvation leads them down the driveway--it's an easy meander because the plow has cleared a path--that leads right to my salad bar, er, garden.

Just a couple visits can do a lot of damage. If the deer are hungry enough, they will eat almost anything green. Don't believe those lists of deer-proof plants you see. There's no such thing as a deer-proof plant. I've seen them eat hellebores to the ground. And then there are the bucks, who delight in rubbing their antlers against small trees with a caliper of one- to two-inches. They've killed many a sapling here--magnolias, Japanese maples and more--by girdling the tree, rubbing off the bark all the way around. They didn't do that to this striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum), which I hope will survive. Lastly, bucks and does alike add insult to injury by leaving little mounds of their calling cards everywhere.

6 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

I've just moved into deer territory, and these are becoming my hated sights as well. Well, here in Texas we don't see any hoofprints in snow, of course, but we see them in mud.

patientgardener said...

I'm relieved my biggest problem is squirrels.

Steve Silk said...

Hi Pam--Just remember: Agaves are good! Doubt they'd eat those. Anyway, those rats with antlers have really done a number on the garden this year-I have several significant areas that will need to be reworked. One of my hedges is totally destroyed.

Steve Silk said...

PG-Squirrels can be a problem, but happily their appetite is far smaller than a deer's. Plus, deer, unfortunately, usually travel in herds.

Layanee said...

I have many damaged plants this year since the snow and ice came so early. Next year, fencing around plants!

Steve Silk said...

Layanee--It's been a tough year for those critters, but it's hard to be sympathetic to anything so destructive of a lot my effort and expense. I think I may join you next year, in putting netting over especially threatened foundation plantings and such. On the other hand, their predation it does give me an excuse to get out there and do some more gardening.